AJ Travel Bureau ToursSeki Blade Tour

This tour was developed for professional and hobby blacksmiths and knife makers in Australia. While the tour focuses on all things ‘Japanese Blades’ there was also time to investigate some of Japan’s rich culture with a traditional Japanese hot-pot meal and show, a visit to the mind blowing Robot Restaurant, a trip to Arashiyama bamboo grove, Golden Pavilion and a cooking class. The tour introduces a famous chisel maker in Tokyo, blacksmith (sword maker), sword polisher, and scabbard maker as well as a trip to a traditional Japanese hardware store, and several knife stores. This tour is suitable for anyone who is interested to explore diverse Japanese culture with a strong emphasis on all things to do with blades. The highlight of the tour is the two day Hamon Festival in Seki City where 70 vendors of hand-crafted and mass produced knife makers display and sell their creations. If you are looking for the perfect and unique kitchen knife-set then this is the tour you should be on!

Day 1 - Tokyo

The tour meets in the lobby of our Tokyo Hotel and we'll head out to Mugen Style Restaurant for dinner.

  • Mugen Style Restaurant;

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  • Mugen Style Restaurant;

Day 2 - Local Tokyo

Following an early breakfast in the hotel, we depart to Sosenji Temple and market district in Asakusa. Explore the temple and surrounding markets, excellent for picking up some interesting Japanese nicknacks and souvenirs. After Asakusa the tour group will walk to Kappabashi shopping street (approx 10-15min) where we will visit some knife shops, restaurant suppliers and see the

  • Subway to Askakusa Temple and surrounding markets;
  • Walk to Kappabashi main shopping street - some more knife shops & restaurant supplies (To be confirmed);
  • Return to hotel and train to Akihabara - spend time in Tokyo electronic town;
  • Walk back to hotel via Okachimachi markets; and
  • dinner at Mugen Style Restaurant & show.

Day 3 - Tsukiji Markets & Robot Restaurant

Another full day in Tokyo. We start early early morning as we make our way to Tsukji Fish Markets. You will be able to find a fresh breakfast at the markets. After the markets we'll explore the surrounding shops including several knife shops. We'll drop into the Tsukiji Hongan-ji Temple, that is rather unusual as far as temples go in Japan. Then a visit to Master Ikegami, a famous Tokyo Chisel maker and stop off for lunch at a local restaurant. We'll return to the hotel to freshen up before heading off to the Robot Restaurant and dinner at a local Japanese Izakaiya (Japanese pub).

  • Early morning departure for Tsukiji Markets;
  • Early lunch at Tsukiji Markets;
  • Visit markets and surrounding knife shops;
  • Visit Temple next to markets;
  • Visit Tokyo Chisel maker, Master Ikegami;
  • Lunch at Okunomiyaki near chisel maker;
  • Visit Garden near Tsukiji Fish Markets;
  • Return to hotel;
  • Travel to Shinjuku for Robot Restaurant; and
  • Dinner after Robot Restaurant.

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Day 4 - Transfer to Seki City

After breakfast in the hotel we’ll take the Shinkansen to Nagoya, change to express train to Minoota Station and then take a one carriage country train to Seki. Dinner in the hotel.

Transfer to Seki City will take most of the day due to train transfers and available time tables - trains are less frequent in the country side.

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Artisan Workshop Tour

Day 5 - Seki City Sword Artisan Tour

On this day tour you will visit the workshops, usually located within the home of the various specialists involved in creating the Japanese sword, visit a traditional hardware store and sword shop to see the finished products, various other weapons and meet the president of the company. The artisans include:

  • Sword Artistan Tour;
  • Visit Blacksmith forge;
  • Hardware store;
  • Lunch in local Japanese style restaurant;
  • Sword Polisher;
  • Scabbard maker;
  • Handle maker (if available); and
  • Sushi Train for dinner.

Day 6 - 1st Day of the Seki City Hammon Festival

After buffet breakfast in the hotel we’ll take the bus to the festival venue and the formal opening of the Outdoor Knife Show. Today you’ll get to explore the festivities happening in Seki.

Over the next two days you will have the opportunity to engage in the festival. There will be a short briefing after dinner to explain the activities that will take place over the next two days so that you can plan the things you’re interested in seeing to ensure you don’t miss out!

Day 7 - 2nd Day of the Seki Outdoor Knife Show Festival

  • Hammon Matsuri - Knife Festival
  • 9:30am Depart for knife festival
  • Visit the Outdoor Knife Show
  • Spend the day at knife festival and surrounding street stalls
  • Visit sword museum - forging demonstration
  • Eat lunch & dinner at street stalls (stalls close around 4:30pm) or take away from 7/11

Day 8 - Master Hattori Knife Maker's Forge

Today is a Japanese National Holiday (exercise day) and the residents of Seki City and surrounding area will be recovering from the massive two day festival. If possible, we’ll visit the knife factory of Master Hattori one of the most famous knife makers in Japan, after which we will make our way back to Nagoya Station and continue on the Shinkansen to Kyoto.

  • Japanese National Holiday
  • Local attractions in Seki;
  • Kencrest Knife Store;
  • Master Hattori depending on availability

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Day 9 - Kyoto

Today you will have the opportunity to join a half day tour of Kyoto. You will visit Arashiyama famous for its luscious bamboo groves, Ryoanji Zen Temple and the Golden Pavilion. You will have the rest of the day and evening free to explore other areas of Kyoto and AJ Travel Bureau will be available to help you get around.

  • Arashiyama bamboo grove;
  • Ryoanji Zen Temple & walk to the Golden Pavilion;
  • Temple of the Golden Pavilion;
  • Return to Hotel;
  • Free rest of afternoon & dinner.

Day 10 - Kyoto Ohara

You’re last morning in Kyoto. You can choose to take part in a cooking class or visit Gyomizudera and Gion. The local bus will take us into the mountains of Kyoto which takes about an hour to get there.

  • Gyomizudera temple & street markets;
  • Walk to Gion - Japan’s home of geisha;
  • Inari Shrine;
  • and you will have a choice of either a cooking class or

Day 11 - Return to Kyoto and End of Tour

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Tour Dates

Tour Dates TBA

Tour Inclusions

  • 12 nights accommodation
  • 11 Breakfasts
  • 9 Dinners
  • Train travel as per itinerary
  • Bilingual Tour Leader

Tour Exclusions

  • International airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Lunches
  • Alcohol beverages
  • No water supplied

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